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Design and "As Flown" Radiation Environments for Materials in Low Earth OrbitA conservative design approach was adopted by the International Space Station Program for specifying total ionizing radiation dose requirements for use in selecting and qualifying materials for construction of the International Space Station. The total ionizing dose design environment included in SSP 30512 Space Station Ionizing Radiation Design Environment is based on trapped proton and electron fluence derived from the solar maximum versions of the AE-8 and AP-8 models, respectively, specified for a circular orbit at 500 km altitude and 51.7 degree inclination. Since launch, the range of altitudes utilized for Space Station operations vary from a minimum of approximately 330 km to a maximum of approximately 405 km with a mean operational altitude less than 400 km. The design environment, therefore, overestimates the radiation environment because the particle flux in the South Atlantic Anomaly is the primary contributor to radiation dose in low Earth orbit and flux within the Anomaly is altitude dependent. In addition, a 2X multiplier is often applied to the design environment to cover effects from the contributions of galactic cosmic rays, solar energetic particle events, geomagnetic storms, and uncertainties in the trapped radiation models which are not explicitly included in the design environment. Application of this environment may give radiation dose overestimates on the order of 1OX to 30X for materials exposed to the space environment, suggesting that materials originally qualified for ten year exposures on orbit may be used for longer periods without replacement. In this paper we evaluate the "as flown" radiation environments derived from historical records of the ISS flight trajectory since launch and compare the results with the SSP 30512 design environment to document the magnitude of the radiation dose overestimate provided by the design environment. "As flown" environments are obtained from application of the AE-8/AP-8 trapped particle models along the ISS flight trajectory including variations in altitude due to decay of the vehicle orbit and periodic reboosts to higher altitudes. In addition, an estimate of the AE-8 model to predict low Earth orbit electron flux (because the radiation dose for thin materials is dominated by the electron component of the radiation environment) is presented based on comparisons of the AE-8 model to measurements of electron integral flux at approximately 850 km from the Medium Energy Proton and Electron Detector on board the NOAA Polar Operational Environmental Satellite.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Minow, Joseph (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
McWilliams, Brett (Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL, United States)
Altstatt, Richard (Jacobs Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Koontz, Steven (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Space Radiation
Meeting Information
10th International Symposium on Materials in Space Environment(Reno, NV)
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